So recently, I’ve been reading Developing The Leaders Around You by John C. Maxwell. Why? Well, besides my commitment to being a life long learner it wouldn’t hurt to gain a few leadership skills and understandings since I’m surrounded by people constantly. In addition to working at The Point, it’s not just about isolated tasks and assignments, were working as a team- towards our vision, continuously implementing our core values. But what does it really look like to be a leader and work as a team? While reading, one form of imagery really caught my eye so I figured I would share it with you and it has to do with geese so bear with me:
“When you see geese heading South for the winter flying along in a “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing that sience has discovered why they fly that way. Research has revealed that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind it. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. (People who share a common direction and sense of community get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on one another’s thrust.)
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. (If we as people have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation and so will those who are headed in the same way we are.) When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the “V” and another goose flies the point. (It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.)
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. (What do we say when we honk from behind?)
And finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunfire and falls out, two other geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the goose until it is either able to fly again or dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group. (If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.)”
Okay, maybe geese are not so “silly” after all. Whoever coined that saying must feel dumb today. Now when I think of geese, I don’t have very fond memories. To be quite honest, when I think of geese this is what my mind flashes to –> Elementary school in West Hempstead NY-after having chocolate milk and chicken nuggets for lunch (with the BBQ sauce that really doesn’t taste like BBQ sauce)-RECESS- and the annoying, disgusting poop that would litter the grassy fields and pavements. UGH it was everywhere, you couldn’t even avoid it. As a kid you would just stomp over it. After all, poop wasn’t going to keep you from enjoying your freedom.
But really, who knew geese were so dang smart?! I mean, their uncontrollable need to crap, stare at my lunch and honk at me with attitude really had me fooled. Now here I am, a college graduate, learning from geese.
This got me thinking though. What if every passion we had, every relationship we engaged in, every task we tackled- What if we “goosed” our way there?
If we appreciated what people brought to the table rather what they lack? If we came along side our leader, boss, pastor and committed enough to carry out a purpose together? If we bought into the fact that we can’t do this thing alone and we need to be around others?
Knowing that working as a team will get us to our accomplishments rather than concentrating on ourselves and how far our skills will bring us. If we fall off track or get tired, we know that we can step right back into formation and gain momentum from the people around us. That one person isn’t getting stuck with a never ending burdensome job. What if we didn’t allow each other to get burnt out? If we encouraged everyone around us instead of complaining? And if someone falls because of any circumstance, we have the compassion and heart not to leave them for dead but to free fall with them, doing all in our power to bring them back.
What if we did life as a team?
And from a church perspective- What if we goosed together?